House Bill 277 will cost SW GA $$$

Dougherty County Commissioners

Dougherty County Commission Chair Jeff Sinyard updated the commission on the regional meeting last week about House Bill 277.

The group of 28 county commission chairmen and mayors from 14 Southwest Georgia counties must decide if they'll put together a transportation plan paid for with a new penny tax for citizens to vote on.

The catch is, the bill will cost Southwest Georgians money from any angle you approach it.

The bill says if a regional group doesn't move forward with a plan the region will have to match the cost of future maintenance and improvement grants from the Georgia Department of Transportation at 50%.

If the group moves forward but citizens vote the new penny tax down, the region will have to match projects at 30%.

If the penny tax regional transportation plan passes, Southwest Georgians will only have to match 10% of the cost.

Chairman Sinyard says the group has a lot of work to do convincing people to pay another penny tax in this economic climate. "Times are tough right now. It's going to be very difficult to ask Dougherty County residents to pay an 8th penny tax. And if they did approve it, we need to be very certain that you've got a fair and equitable distribution of the transportation needs for each of the 14 counties and cities who are involved" says Sinyard.

The group will meet again in January to start putting together a regional transportation plan.

To see the entire bill click here.